What is Bay Horse
Bay horses have a reddish-brown coat color and black points (mane, ear tips, tail, and lower legs), and dark skin. The shades of bay horses vary from light brown to dark red. Bay color patterns are prevalent in most horse breeds. All bay horses have a black color base affected by the Agouti gene.
Over 42,000 years ago, a mutation called non-dun 1 appeared, which allowed horses to be bay.
According to genetic researchers, a bay horse is born from a combination of two main genes. They include the E allele and agouti genes.
Bay Horse got Allele And Agouti Genes
The E Allele Gene
This may be an E/E or E/e type. The extension gene produces a protein receptor (Melanocortin) which allows the formation of black pigments on the horse’s hair.
The Agouti Gene
The agouti gene produces a protein peptide (Asip) which distributes the black pigments over the horse’s skin. A dominant agouti gene leads to the formation of the black base color on the horse’s points. The result is a standard bay horse with a reddish body and black points.
If a horse doesn’t have a dominant, functional copy of this gene, the protein Asip cannot be produced. This results in a wholly black coat.
One unique characteristic of the agouti gene is that its ability to influence the horse’s genetic characteristics is limited.